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A month after Rahul's offer to resign, Congress continues to grapple with leadership issue


ANI Politics
He has subsequently reiterated his resolve not to go back on his decision on several occasions in party meetings but the party are keen that he resile from it.
Gandhi offered to resign at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on May 25 taking moral responsibility for the party's defeat in the Lok Sabha elections and the party has seen some resignations in most of the states it did not do well.
The latest spate of resignations came after he told party's Lok Sabha MPs earlier that he is sticking to his decision to quit.
Gandhi's offer to resign is apparently linked to his desire to set standards of accountability in the party but the party has been insistent that he should continue and a stalemate persists.
A senior leader said it was for Gandhi to decide and initiate the alternative mechanisms if he does not want to continue in the post .
"We all want that he should stay as party chief but if he does not want to do so, he has to decide his role. He has to decide who will lead the party and how it will be done," the party leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told ANI.
The leader said that there is "confusion" and a "lack of clarity" in the party at present and a "decision has to be taken at the earliest".
Congress won 52 seats in the Lok Sabha election, only eight more than it won in 2014, with Gandhi losing the from his traditional seat of Amethi but winning from Wayanad in Kerala. The party could not get the status of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha.
The party has to face assembly elections in Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir in the coming months and most of its state units are ridden with factionalism.
A party functionary said every party goes through a lean phase and the need was to focus on coming challenges.
Gandhi's reiteration in meetings this week that he is keen to quit has triggered flurry of resignations.
Over 140 office bearers tendered a mass resignation following a meeting in the party office. Among those who quit are a general secretary, six national secretaries and two state working presidents
Party spokesperson Pawan Khera said on Saturday that the entire party wants Gandhi to continue as party chief.
"Everybody in Congress party has one request to Rahul Gandhi, has one desire, that he should continue has our party president. The same resolution was passed by the CWC.
"The same request was repeated by everyone. Every state PCC passed a resolution and sent it to Delhi. The CWC also passed a resolution authorising Rahul Gandhi to rehaul the organisation. In our huge family of Congress, different people have different ways of expressing the request," he said, alluding to the recent spate of resignations.
He said the party workers have apprised the senior leadership that there will be "no compromise on the name of Rahul Gandhi".
A party leader said that the issue has to be handled properly so as to prevent any division of the party.
"It is also very important that the youth in the party and outside continue to see hope and optimism in the party's future prospects.
The party's constitution provides that in the event of resignation of party president, the senior most general secretary discharges the "routine functions" of president "until the Working Committee appoints a provisional president pending the election of a regular president by the AICC".

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First Published: Jun 29 2019 | 5:59 PM IST

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